Tankless water heaters are commonly known as instant water heaters or on-demand water heaters. This is because they only heat water when needed. This is opposed to traditional models where water in a tank is heated repeatedly to maintain temperature. Instead, they use high-power electric coils or gas burners to heat the water once an outlet is turned on.
They’re a relatively new appliance that helps make your home become more energy-efficient. Tankless water heaters take up a lot of energy to instantly heat the water as needed whereas traditional models with tanks continuously use energy to maintain the water’s warmth in the tank.
Due to their mechanism, they use energy only when needed, allowing you to save up to 22% on energy consumption.
In this article, we’ll cover the tankless water heater pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
What are The Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters?
- 1 What are The Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters?
- 2 What are the Downsides of a Tankless Water Heater?
- 3 Final Words
Let’s hop into the pros of tankless water heaters:
Instant and Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
You can always rely on tankless water heaters to provide you with warm water almost immediately when you need them.
They feature a designated flowrate, i.e the amount of water they can heat in a given period. Provided that your warm water usage is within the capacity of your heater, then you are guaranteed a constant supply of hot water.
Lower Energy Costs in the Long Run
Despite being expensive, they are energy-efficient. This is because they only heat the water when needed, unlike traditional tank systems which continuously heat water in a tank to keep the water warm.
A tankless water system can save you up to 22% on energy consumption if you use 40 gallons of hot water per day. Meanwhile, you will only save 8-14 % of energy if your household uses more than 80 gallons of warm water.
You will save a couple of hundred dollars per annum on electricity or gas bills or several thousand dollars over the lifetime of your tankless water heater.
Tankless Water Heaters Take up Small Spaces.
Traditional water heating systems have tanks that occupy large floor spaces, which can be an inconvenience for small homes. However, tankless water systems only occupy a small fraction of this. The system is mounted onto a wall just like a breaker circuit. Technicians can even mount in inconspicuous locations such as closets.
Reduced Risks of Water Leakages and Damage.
Tank-type heating systems face a high risk of leakages. This is because the minerals in the hard water will corrode the tank over time, causing it to leak or even flood your entire basement. Tankless water heaters have reduced the risks of flooding because they do not have a tank.
This does not mean that tankless water heaters are completely leakproof. They can run into problems that can causes leakages, but this occurrence is extremely rare.
Tankless Water Heaters Have a Long Life Expectancy.
Extended exposure to minerals in hard water limits the lifespan of tank-type heaters to only 12 years. However, tankless water heaters can last for more than 20 years if they are properly maintained.
Enjoy Longer Warranty Periods With Tankless Water Heaters.
Owners of tankless water heaters can enjoy a long warranty period. A typical warranty can run for up to 20 years because of the long lifespan of the heaters. During this period, you don’t even have to worry about repair or replacement costs.
What are the Downsides of a Tankless Water Heater?
Just like any system, tankless water heaters also have their disadvantages. Here are some of them:
The Initial Cost is High.
Investing in tankless water heaters requires higher capital than its tank-type counterparts. They need specialized installation which further increases the cost of labor.
On average, tankless water heaters can cost twice as much as traditional tank-type water heaters.
It May Require Additional Equipment
A water softener is often coupled with a tankless water heater so it operates smoothly. This addition increases the overall installation costs. The addition of a water softener will also nullify the space-saving benefit of tankless water heaters because water softeners may take up as much space as the tank-type water heater.
It Cannot Maintain Constant Temperature Between Appliances
Your tankless water heater may not be able to supply large amounts at the same time. In case you have several showers running at the same time in your house, the heater may not be able to supply heated water to all the outlets.
Simply put, a tankless water heater cannot supply warm water to several appliances in your house simultaneously. It can only provide a sustained supply of warm water that matches its flow rate.
It Relies on Electricity.
It is quite obvious that a power outage means that there would be no hot water for you.
Tankless water heaters use either electricity or gas to heat the water. You will not be able to use your gas heater because most gas tankless water heaters use electric regulators.
This is where tank-type water heaters become handy because you can still access hot water despite a power outage. After all, their insulated tanks can store hot water for several days.
There is a Possibility of Further Maintenance
You may be required to carry out additional maintenance on your tankless water heater so as not to void your warranty. You may be required to flush the system annually to limit the buildup of minerals that may cause leakages. The additional cost negates the savings made on power.
In this article, we have seen both the pros and cons of a tankless water heater. We have seen that the system is better suited for homes whose water usage is relatively low. However, tankless water heaters also have a longer lifespan, making it a great investment that gets better over time.